How To: Order at an Indian restaurant while on a diet

Order at an Indian restaurant while on a diet

Know which Indian entrees are low-calorie and which are diet busters.

Step 1: Forget the fried stuff
Avoid fried appetizers, like puri, which is fried bread, samosas, which are turnovers, and pakoras, which are fritters. Try the mulligatawny soup, a spicy concoction of chicken and lentils.

Step 2: Order tandoori
Order tandoori chicken or fish, which is baked, not fried. Chicken tikka, made of roasted boneless, skinless chicken, is also a good choice.

Step 3: Avoid ghee and khopre
Ask your server to suggest dishes that are light on ghee, which is clarified butter and khopre, which is coconut oil.

If your dish comes with a pool of oil on top, spoon it off.

Step 4: Slim down your curry
When ordering a curry, request a vegetable-based one, rather than a cream or coconut milk curry.

Step 5: Get some dal
Enjoy dishes with "dal" in the title. That indicates a lentil-based item.

Step 6: Try the cauliflower
Try the gobhi matar tamatar, which is cauliflower with peas and tomatoes. Skip the paneer dishes, which indicate a cheese and oily sauce.

Step 7: Watch the carbs
Don't go crazy with the bread that's served, called naan; the tastiness comes from being brushed with melted butter! Instead, nibble on papadum, or lentil wafers, or roti, which is usually made with whole-wheat flour.

Forgo the pulau rice, which is fried; ask for steamed basmati rice instead.

Step 8: Indulge in dessert
Indulge in dessert – just not the kheer, a rice pudding made with coconut milk, raisins and nuts that often weighs in at more than 500 calories! Instead, enjoy a til ladoo: These tasty sesame seed balls are under 200 calories.

Fact: The average Indian home cook regularly uses about 25 spices.

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